Sunday, October 30, 2011


I have found myself at one of my favorite places more often lately...our local library.  This is what I am currently reading. 

I just completed Allergic Girl by Sloanne Miller.  She is the CEO of FANN, the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. She is candid about living with food allergies her entire life and how she navigates eating out in NYC several times a week. She openly shares how important it is to have "safe" people in your life when you have food allergies....especially when they are life threatening and how to handle the not-so-sensitive family/friends that will enter the scene now and then. A beautifully written and knowledgeable resource for someone with food allergies and/or for a parent with a child living with them.  

Our Story:

Kate was about 18 months when she ate a tiny cookie from Trader Joes that had peanuts in them.  She had already been diagnosed with some allergies and eczema.  When she had itchy eyes about a half hour after ingesting the cookie I didn't think much of it...because this happened with other foods and a antihistamine took care of her needs.  I remember going home and giving Benadryl to her and really not that worried.  However, she broke out in hives and started wheezing.  The more I observed her...I realized she must be having a reaction to the peanuts.  We went to the Emergency room where they administered her with steroids and we waited for 3 hours to make sure the drugs worked.  We followed up with her pediatrician and we have carried an epi pen ever since. She has had two other severe reactions since then. Unfortunately, Kate's allergy is   anaphylaxix...which is severe (throat starts to close within minutes of ingesting peanuts).

Will she grow out of it??

How wonderful that would be. Yes a HUGE blessing for Kate.  However, 1 out of 5 children grow out of peanut allergies. So most likely she still has it :( Also...the MOST accurate test is to actually ingest peanut butter and watch and wait.  This of course has to be done at the doctor's office and then we would be there for several hours if she did indeed suffer a reaction.  Kate refuses to have this done at this time and I respect her wish. (It was hard enough taking her to have a flu shot) So for now...we do our best to protect her.  We stay educated, carry her epi-pen and pray that when she is in the care of others....they respect her and make her feel safe.  I will not go into details...but her allergy is severe we have an emergency plan in place.  In all honesty, I feel lately we have gotten lazy...and now it is time to revise her plan.  This is especially true when she is not with Emery and me.  Whew!!

Please read this book if you know of someone close to you with a food allergy.  It will change your perspective about what their life is like on a daily basis. 

My timing of this post is not accidental...this time of year is always difficult.  Halloween..... can be challenging....because of all the candy.  We have a system down....and Kate can participate in this holiday with some regulations.  We try to normalize it the best we can!

I don't post this info because I am angry or I want you to feel sorry for my daughter.  Instead, I am happy that there are so many choices available to her as someone with a peanut allergy.  I also hope it will remind my readers that if you know of anyone with a food allergy....that you might be a "safe" person for them to be with.  Make sure when they are in your company...that you ask them how you can best help them keep safe.  They will be blessed to know you acknowledge their allergy.



1 comment:

  1. As someone with a food allergy, I applaud how you raise awareness, Jen! Did you know just about every cracker, chip, and cookie at Fresh and Easy has been made with equipment shared with peanuts? Yet they have an expanding section of gluten free-a serious allergy to be sure, but not life threatening as a peanut allergy can be. It doesn't make sense. Hugs to you and Kate for living with this daily!